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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Don Harvey

Don Harvey

Secretariat International1175 Peachtree Road NE100 Colony Square - Suite 400AtlantaUSA30361

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader
WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Questions & Answers

Mr Harvey is the founder and managing director of Secretariat International. Secretariat International specialises in providing independent expert advice on construction projects in the areas of programming and scheduling (delay and disruption) contract review, programme assessment, cost and damages, and productivity and inefficiency. He has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry managing projects and advising clients on issues involving project and contract administration, claim preparation, delay, cost, disruption and productivity analyses.

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

I was employed as a project manager in the construction industry for many years before focusing on the expert witness industry. I am a civil engineer by trade with an MBA in finance. I have given evidence on some of the largest projects in the world in many different arbitration forums and courts. I am currently the founder and managing director at Secretariat International. Secretariat is a world-leading consultancy in the expert witness marketplace.

WHAT SKILLS MAKE A SUCCESSFUL TESTIFYING EXPERT?

From my perspective, being a successful expert witness requires industry knowledge, the ability to communicate complex issues in a simple and effective manner, and a commitment to integrity.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO ESTABLISH SECRETARIAT INTERNATIONAL?

The primary reason I established Secretariat International was I believed it was becoming more difficult to properly serve clients on the large company platforms due to the metrics in place that drove compensation/behaviour and conflicts.

TO WHAT EXTENT IS TECHNOLOGY CHANGING THE NATURE OF CONSTRUCTION PRACTICE AND DISPUTES?

Technology and better communication are turning the construction dispute market into a truly global business. Companies are more interested in selecting the right expert rather than their geographical location.

WHAT ARE THE GREATEST CHALLENGES FACING LAWYERS AND EXPERTS IN THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR AT THE MOMENT?

Lawyers and experts are facing a backlash in the cost of litigation and arbitration. We are getting more inquiries for fixed-fee engagements. While I understand the sensitivities related to the costs associated with disputes, there needs to be a balance between the cost of expert work and the quality of service.

HOW DO YOU EXPECT THE FIELD TO DEVELOP OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

I believe we will see an ever-increasing requirement for objectivity and integrity from experts rather than the “hired gun” approach. From my standpoint, presenting an analysis that is one-sided is a waste of time and client resources.

AS MANAGING DIRECTOR OF SECRETARIAT INTERNATIONAL, HOW DO YOU SEE THE FIRM ADAPTING TO ADDRESS THESE CHANGES AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW OPPORTUNITIES?

As a managing director as Secretariat International, I constantly reinforce the need for analyses that appeal to common sense and are based on a reasonable assessment of the facts.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PRACTITIONERS LOOKING TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN FIRM?

I would advise practitioners to clearly define your firm’s core values and hire people with similar perspectives.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Clients are “very much impressed” with Don Harvey’s work, stating that he “should be on anyone’s shortlist for schedule and delay analysis”.

Questions & Answers

Mr Harvey is the founder and managing director of Secretariat International. Secretariat International specialises in providing independent expert advice on construction projects in the areas of programming and scheduling (delay and disruption) contract review, programme assessment, cost and damages, and productivity and inefficiency. He has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry managing projects and advising clients on issues involving project and contract administration, claim preparation, delay, cost, disruption and productivity analyses.

What attracted you to a career as a testifying expert?

The challenge of analysing complex issues and explaining them in a straightforward manner to tribunals.

How has the role of expert witness changed since you started practising?

Tribunals have started relying more heavily on experts through the use of joint expert statements and hot-tubbing.

What are the benefits of using concurrent expert evidence or hot-tubbing to provide expert testimony?

I believe the benefits are huge. They are mechanisms for the tribunals to assess the underlying rationale that creates disagreements between experts.

What can independent experts offer in the market?

Independent experts can obviously educate tribunals in a formal dispute process, but they also can play a significant role in helping to settle disputes in negotiations and mediations.

In your opinion, what attributes make for a good construction expert?

Independence and the ability to articulate complex issues in a simple manner.

How does the international nature of your practice inform your work?

It has taught me that irrespective of geography/country/culture, being objective is the most effective trait of an expert witness.

How do you see your practice developing over the next five years?

Continuing to help colleagues develop their skillsets/careers.

What makes Secretariat International stand out from competitors?

Culture, quality, and objectivity. We were just named a “Best Firm to Work For” by Consulting Magazine, which validates SI’s commitment to culture.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Don Harvey is “very well regarded” among market commentators who distinguish him as “one of the best for delay disputes”. ​

Biography

Mr Harvey is the founder and managing director of Secretariat International. Secretariat International specialises in providing independent expert advice on construction projects in the areas of programming/scheduling (delay and disruption) contract review, programme assessment, cost/damages and productivity/inefficiency.

Mr Harvey has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry managing projects and advising clients on issues involving project and contract administration, claim preparation, delay, cost, disruption and productivity analyses. Through his years of experience as a construction project manager and as an expert consultant, Mr Harvey has developed a detailed knowledge of construction, project management, scheduling and cost controls. He has been engaged by multinational owners, developers and contractors on many of the highest-profile construction disputes in the world such as the Panama Canal, Wembley Stadium and the Burj Khalifa. Mr Harvey has also been involved with several high-profile disputes related to government contracting and information technology (IT) development/implementation programmes.

Mr Harvey is known for an independent common-sense approach to assessing complex projects based on a detailed knowledge of construction and a practical application of facts. He has testified numerous times as an independent expert witness in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa under the following forums: ICC, Uncitral, Stockholm Institute, AAA, DIAC, LCIA, SIAC, Moscow Court of Arbitration, DRB and DAB. He has also given evidence in the Technology and Construction Court in London, and state and federal courts in the United States. Mr Harvey has experience in the following sectors: oil and gas, mining, power, nuclear, pipelines, rail, highways/bridges/tunnels/airports, hospitals, stadiums, high-rise commercial/residential, education, processing facilities, ship building and manufacturing facilities.

Mr Harvey has a degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from George Washington University.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Clients are "very much impressed" with Don Harvey's work, stating that he "should be on anyone's shortlist for schedule and delay analysis".

Biography

Mr Harvey is the founder and managing director of Secretariat International. Secretariat International specialises in providing independent expert advice on construction projects in the areas of programming/scheduling (delay and disruption) contract review, programme assessment, cost/damages and productivity/inefficiency.

Mr Harvey has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry managing projects and advising clients on issues involving project and contract administration, claim preparation, delay, cost, disruption and productivity analyses. Through his years of experience as a construction project manager and as an expert consultant, Mr Harvey has developed a detailed knowledge of construction, project management, scheduling and cost controls. He has been engaged by multinational owners, developers and contractors on many of the highest-profile construction disputes in the world such as the Panama Canal, Wembley Stadium and the Burj Khalifa. Mr Harvey has also been involved with several high-profile disputes related to government contracting and information technology (IT) development/implementation programmes.

Mr Harvey is known for an independent common-sense approach to assessing complex projects based on a detailed knowledge of construction and a practical application of facts. He has testified numerous times as an independent expert witness in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa under the following forums: ICC, Uncitral, Stockholm Institute, AAA, DIAC, LCIA, SIAC, Moscow Court of Arbitration, DRB and DAB. He has also given evidence in the Technology and Construction Court in London, and state and federal courts in the United States. Mr Harvey has experience in the following sectors: oil and gas, mining, power, nuclear, pipelines, rail, highways/bridges/tunnels/airports, hospitals, stadiums, high-rise commercial/residential, education, processing facilities, ship building and manufacturing facilities.

Mr Harvey has a degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from George Washington University.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Don Harvey is a “leading name on the delay side” who has in-depth knowledge of construction delay and disruption claims relating to the areas of programming and scheduling.

Biography

Mr Harvey is the founder and managing director of Secretariat International. Secretariat International specialises in providing independent expert advice on construction projects in the areas of programming/scheduling (delay and disruption) contract review, programme assessment, cost/damages and productivity/inefficiency.

Mr Harvey has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry managing projects and advising clients on issues involving project and contract administration, claim preparation, delay, cost, disruption and productivity analyses. Through his years of experience as a construction project manager and as an expert consultant, Mr Harvey has developed a detailed knowledge of construction, project management, scheduling and cost controls. He has been engaged by multinational owners, developers and contractors on many of the highest-profile construction disputes in the world such as the Panama Canal, Wembley Stadium and the Burj Khalifa. Mr Harvey has also been involved with several high-profile disputes related to government contracting and information technology (IT) development/implementation programmes.

Mr Harvey is known for an independent common-sense approach to assessing complex projects based on a detailed knowledge of construction and a practical application of facts. He has testified numerous times as an independent expert witness in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa under the following forums: ICC, Uncitral, Stockholm Institute, AAA, DIAC, LCIA, SIAC, Moscow Court of Arbitration, DRB and DAB. He has also given evidence in the Technology and Construction Court in London, and state and federal courts in the United States. Mr Harvey has experience in the following sectors: oil and gas, mining, power, nuclear, pipelines, rail, highways/bridges/tunnels/airports, hospitals, stadiums, high-rise commercial/residential, education, processing facilities, ship building and manufacturing facilities.

Mr Harvey has a degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from George Washington University.

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